Aspen, Colorado - Dave Eckardt, otherwise known as “Dangerous Dave” of Aspen, Colorado; co-author of the first kayak Bible: Colorado Rivers and Creeks, passed away earlier this month. He was mountain biking on Snowmass Mountain near his home, a double black diamond single track named “Valhalla”. He died of head and spine trauma. He was two days short of his 63rd birthday.
Dave will be remembered for his heroic contributions to the world of early extreme kayaking in the 1980’s, with descents down Crystal Gorge, Embudo, Vallecito, Cheeseman, Cherry Creek, and hundreds of others, with many first descents throughout all the western states. He went on to chart and document so many, now-famous runs in his book CRC. He was a champion of the Gore Canyon Race in the early years, and a regular at kayak play parks around Colorado.
He was also an avid back-country skier, climbing all the mountains of the Rockies, for the best powder runs.
He went on to kayak the entire coast of Baja with his sea-kayak and his life partner Lori Russell, which he documented in his award-winning book, “The Guide to Baja Sea-Kayaking”. He had an undying sense of adventure, and appreciation for a life well lived. Here is perhaps a comforting thought: Dave’s last ride on Snowmass Mtn was on the double-diamond extreme trail named “Valhalla”. This is the Norse kingdom of heaven where souls go to dine with the gods.
He will be deeply missed by his kayak community, friends, and family.
He is pictured here surfing on the Pipeline Wave, and with his life partner of 18 years, Lori Russell